Puerto Rico automakers sold a meager 6,324 units last month, representing a 21.3 percent year-over-year drop and marking the sixth consecutive month the sector has seen a reduction in activity, the United Automobile Importers Group said Tuesday.
The drop forced the group, known as GUIA for its initials in Spanish, to revise for the second time its projections for 2014 demand for new vehicles.
July’s results represent 1,712 fewer new cars off the lot in comparison to the same month in 2013, the group said.
“The auto industry is going through one of its most critical periods in the past five years. Customer traffic at dealerships has been declining greatly and therefore during the year we have seen a dramatic contraction, which intensifies month-to-month, reflecting as a 21.3 percent drop in July both at retail and fleet levels,” said José Ordeix, president of GUIA.
The accumulated demand in Puerto Rico for January to July 2014 period amounted to 51,071 units, reflecting a decrease of 10 percent compared to sales of 57,666 units registered in the same period of 2013.
“We had not seen such a low sales period since 2009, the year in which a record drop was recorded, with a sales volume of 76,477 units. Considering the market trend, we are forced to reconsider our demand estimate for 2014 again to a volume of 85,000 units, representing a reduction of 15.4 percent — 15,559 fewer units less — compared to the previous year,” Ordeix said.
GUIA members represent 96 percent of the total new vehicle sales in Puerto Rico.